How to Spend a Day on Södermalm: Discovering Stockholm’s Coolest Neighbourhood

photo of Södermalm in Stockholm

I’ve been very vocal about my love for Södermalm, and I am 100% confident that it’s Stockholm’s best and coolest neighbourhood in equal measure. If I ever moved back to the Swedish capital, this is where I would choose to live – no ifs, buts, or maybes. 

Realistically, you could spend your entire trip to Stockholm on Södermalm – also known as Söder by the locals – and not get bored. Then again, you’d miss out on all the other cool things this city has to offer you elsewhere – so maybe that isn’t the best idea. 

Anyway yeah, whatever. Let’s look at what you can and should do in a day on Södermalm. 

(Side-note: I’ve laid out this guide in a way that allows you to explore on your own terms. I live and die by scheduling, but you can mix and match these tips together if you’re a little more spontaneous. 

Sights 

Considering that I live in Denmark, it’s always nice to discover that “elevated land” exists when I go abroad. Stockholm has several fantastic natural viewpoints, and most of the best are on Södermalm. 

Skinnarviksberget is the highest natural point in the city centre and an absolute must for all visitors. You can enjoy an uninterrupted view of Kungsholmen and the city hall on the other side of the water. 

Skinnarviksberget is a pleasant spot to enjoy a picnic or a few drinks with friends on a sunny day. 

But arguably the best viewpoint over central Stockholm, and I shall willingly argue in favour of this, is Monteliusvägen. This stretch is popular with locals passing through on their walks, along with tourists grabbing a picture for their Instagram account. It gets crowded at peak times, so it’s worth visiting early in the morning – especially in the summer when daylight isn’t much of an issue. 

In addition to its numerous views over central Stockholm, Södermalm has plenty of must-see spots on the ground. If you want to see some of the cute red houses that Sweden is so famous for, the district is a great place to see those. 

The most picturesque corner of red Swedish houses is around Sofia Kyrka, which is the large brick church with a bright green roof. This area is free to walk around, though you’ll need to remember that people live here – so be respectful. 

Another place you can see traditional Swedish cabins on Södermalm is at Nytorget. This stretch is just off Skånegatan, one of the neighbourhood’s main streets. You can also find a few more picturesque locations around Katarina Kyrka.

Museums

Regardless of your interests, Stockholm probably has a museum that caters to your needs. Södermalm has some of the best in the city, including Fotografiska – a world-renowned photography museum. 

Fotografska has a broad range of temporary exhibitions for you to enjoy, featuring photographers from across the globe. You’ll find other Fotografiska museums throughout the planet if you love this one, including in Berlin, Tallinn, and New York. 

Alongside its exhibitions, Fotografiska has a restaurant open from Thursday to Saturday. Here, you can dine with an exquisite view of the Stockholm skyline. Table booking is possible online. 

If you want to learn more about the beautiful Swedish capital, Södermalm is also the home of Stockholm’s official city museum: Stadsmuseet. The museum is located next to Slussen metro station and is free to enter. You’ll find a collection of exhibitions documenting life in Stockholm over the years, plus various collections of photos, artefacts, and more. 

Fika 

Fika is an essential cornerstone of Swedish culture and one of several Nordic buzzwords that have swept the globe. Its concept is to take some time out of your daily schedule and be present; you’ll typically have a coffee at this time, plus something sweet. 

Seeing as Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, it also makes sense for it to be the capital of Fika. Throughout the city, you’ll find several cosy and well-designed cafés; Södermalm is no exception. 

I’d love to say that St:Paul Bageri is “arguably” the best bakery in the city, but there’s no arguing about it. St:Paul Bageri is objectively the best bakery in Stockholm and has two branches on Södermalm – my personal favourite was the one on Sankt Paulsgatan. 

Another café that deserves an honourable mention is Drop Coffee. This establishment on Wollmar Yxkullsgatan has a unique approach to sustainability and has won numerous awards in the past. 

When I visit Stockholm, I usually schedule my Fika breaks somewhere in the middle of the day, presumably when most normal humans would have “lunch”. Realistically, though, you can have it whenever you want – and you can do so multiple times each day. 

Food 

Stockholm’s culinary scene is excellent, and you’ll find plenty of great places to grab some food on Södermalm. Restaurang Mosebacke is one of the district’s best-known restaurants and offers a broad menu of both Scandinavian and international specialities. 

The restaurant also has outdoor seating, where you can enjoy a superb view over Stockholm’s city centre when the weather plays fair. 

Barrels Burger and Beer is a viable alternative if you’re after something a little more casual. Barrels has a couple of establishments in Stockholm, including one on Södermalm. It prides itself on using only Swedish meat, and you’ll find a broad range of burgers on the menu – including vegetarian options. 

Barrels also serves several sides, including chicken wings and sweet potato fries. You can also try a “Creation of the Month”, which – as the name suggests – changes each month. 

Another place worth checking out on Södermalm is Woodstockholm. This is more of a high-end eatery, and you’ll find a menu full of local produce that changes throughout the year. Woodstockholm also has a comprehensive drinks menu that includes several kinds of wine, plus beer and alcohol-free options. 

Södermalm is Stockholm’s Coolest Neighbourhood 

One trip to Södermalm will tell you exactly why it’s one of the most desirable places to live in Stockholm. This quirky district is full of creative minds who have very clearly left their mark, with countless unique stores, bars, and restaurants. 

But despite its innovative nature, Söder – as it’s known locally – is also a symbol of timelessness. Its colourful houses and cobblestone streets are begging for you to explore them, and you’ll find plenty of superb spots to take in the beauty of Stockholm from above (and for free!). 

Regardless of how long you spend in the Swedish capital, Södermalm is an authentic cut of the city to which you should dedicate a good amount of time. 

Published by Danny Maiorca

Danny is a freelance writer living in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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